Map of the day – swings in opposite directions for Greens in Victoria


As I’ve been putting together these maps I was particularly interested in seeing what the booth map looked like for the Victorian Greens. There wasn’t a consistent story to come out of the election when it comes to swings for the Greens. The Greens had a tough ask in retaining all six of their Senate seats up for election. At the moment they should win five and possibly six, which is a pretty good outcome.

The Greens have gained a small +0.15% swing in the House of Representatives nationally, and a bigger +1.5% swing in the Senate. Yet Victoria bucked those trends, suffering a large -1.3% swing in the House and a small -0.3% swing in the Senate.

This partly reflects the Greens going backwards in some of their inner city heartland electorates, but again there is not one consistent picture here.

So that’s what I wanted to map out. The map is below the fold.

The first map shows the primary vote swing for the Greens across Victoria. Positive swings are in green, negative swings in gold.

The Greens significantly improved their performance in Melbourne, helped along by the disendorsement of the Labor candidate, while they lost support in Wills and lost a lot of support in Cooper (formerly Batman). The Greens suffered modest negative primary vote swings in Higgins thanks to a resurgent Labor vote which pushed them into third place, while significantly boosting their vote in neighbouring Kooyong where new Greens candidate Julian Burnside came second.

The Greens vote was steady in the inner south seat of Macnamara (previously Melbourne Ports), with individual booths swinging in both directions.

The map is zoomed in to show these inner-city seats, but you can scroll around to see the rest of the state.

There’s also an alternate map showing the two-candidate-preferred result in the four seats where the Greens made the top two: Melbourne, Cooper, Wills and Kooyong.

You can see how badly the Greens have been routed in Cooper. When the seat was called Batman, the Greens came close to winning in 2016. Now Labor polls over 60% of the two-candidate-preferred vote across much of the Greens former heartland in the south of the seat, and Labor wins pretty much every booth.

The Greens heartland is still present in the south-east of Wills, but you can see a massive difference when you cross the border into the seat of Melbourne, where Adam Bandt managed majorities well over 70% in most booths, and sometimes over 80%.

The differences between Cooper, Wills and Melbourne may have something to do with campaign effects: the withdrawal of the Greens from Cooper after their defeat in the Batman by-election, and Labor’s withdrawal from Melbourne after their candidate’s disendorsement. But I think it also demonstrates that a strong sitting member from either Labor or the Greens can make a massive difference to the voting patterns in areas which are very similar demographically and culturally. There is no real dividing line between Melbourne and Batman which would explain a 40-point turnaround in the two-candidate-preferred vote.

This reminds me of the map showing the 2CP swings in the inner west of Sydney in 2019, showing a massive divide between similar suburbs on the border between Newtown and Summer Hill.

In addition to the story in the inner north, it’s also interesting to examine the voting patterns in Kooyong, immediately to the east. It is remarkable that the Greens managed a majority of the 2CP vote in nine booths, including over 60% in a booth in Hawthorn.

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  1. Interesting, Ben. I’m pretty sure (on minimal evidence but a strong hunch) that somewhere from a third to a half of the Green vote in those near-city electorates comes from people who want a Labor government but don’t like right-wing/socially conservative Labor candidates. Witness the swing to Ged, and to Josh Burns compared with his predecessor Danby. The voters are sending signals to Labor – “give us someone leftish and competent or we’ll vote Green”.

  2. In Macnamara the Greens primary vote did not change staying at about 24% while in the state election the long serving Greens MLC for Southern Metropolitan, which included Macnamara, lost her seat.

  3. I haven’t checked in on Queensland in a few days and I understand Larissa Waters position has strengthened, but I don’t think she is locked down.

  4. Great maps, Ben.

    The importance of candidates themselves cannot, indeed, be underestimated. Party brand is weak these days.

    Scott Morrrison v Bill Shorten. Bandt v no-name. Jed Kearney v no-name. Burnside in Kooyong etc etc.

    The reign of the party hack is not what it used to be!

  5. Ben – I have the impression that in the past few state elections & this Federal election that the Green vote at the end of the count has been 0.3-0.5% higher than on the night of the election. So the media story on the saturday night is of a drop in the Greens vote where as the reality is that it has been stable or there has been a small increase. Is this due to absentee votes being slightly better for the Greens?

  6. Macnamara was never a real three-way contest, it’s a convincingly left-leaning seat. It only looked that way before the election because nobody liked Michael Danby (except maybe ex-pat Likudniks?). He largely scraped through on the red background of his campaign posters. So is it really any surprise how badly Ashmor lost this time? No. She ran as Michael Danby in a skirt… with a briefcase.

    More generally speaking I agree with Nigel. Party loyalty is out, across the political spectrum. Candidate quality matters.

  7. Part of the drop in Greens vote was the ALP`s decision to seriously campaign to in Higgins, obviously at least partly to stop the Greens winning it. The ALP could have used those resources elsewhere, such as Chisholm, Deakin, Latrobe, etc.

  8. The drop in support for the Greens in Cooper/Batman was entirely predictable. The party withdraw pretty much all campaign resources from the electorate after the by-election when it became apparent that the Derebin branch had some issues that needed fixing. Cooper will turn Green some time down the road but the party knew it wasn’t happening this time and wisely redirected resources away from the seat.

  9. I don’t think the Greens were a serious chance in Higgins, the loss of Windsor and the adding of pro-ALP areas meant the ALP were always likely to come second, and after the state election it made sense for the ALP to put some effort in.

  10. Adam Carr – Larissa Waters is not certainly re-elected, though all the major psephologists are tipping that she’ll outlast the 2nd ALP candidate.

  11. Some good comments from Jack Aranta and Water Drinker which I agree with. Most of us Macnamara voters are small “l” Liberal or progressive Labor or sensible environmental Greens but not radical leftists or radical rightists like Danby was.


    The Greens are less than 3% behind on primaries (likely less than 2% on 3 candidates preferred), the ALP got far less than the Greens last time and the redistribution did not swap anywhere enough Green leaning areas for ALP leaning areas to overtake that. Had the ALP not run a marginal seat campaign, they would not have come second.

    Given that in 2014 in Prahran the Greens beat the Liberals but the Liberals would have won the seat had the ALP stayed ahead of the Greens, the ALP probably increased the Liberals margin of victory by coming second.

  13. Tom
    The big difference between Higgins and Prahran is that the strongest Green booths in Prahran (Windsor, St Kilda East) are not in Higgins.

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